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With a device that has a display size of 4.1 inches, the Nokia N800 has got to be good for watching movies. The problem with the Nokia N800 is that for most high definition movies today, the display resolution and the fact that codecs are limited on the device, can make it difficult to watch high quality movies using the built-in video player. To solve that problem you will have to look further afield for a third party movie player as there is not much you can do to improve codec support on the standard Nokia N800 video player. One such player that will increase the Nokia N800's movie capability is MPlayer.
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MPlayer makes great progress in solving the codec and format issue. MPlayer is an open source cross platform movie player that is capable of running a large number of movie file formats as shown in this MPlayer movie file format list. It is also important to note that some proprietary formats most notably WMA and WMV are poorly supported by MPlayer.
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Setting Up and Playing Movies
The first thing you need to do is install the latest version of MPlayer on your Nokia N800 which can be found by downloading using this link on your Nokia N800: http://mplayer.garage.maemo.org/mplayer.install
The link is a package that will allow you to install MPlayer in a single click. You can also get the .deb packages from the MPlayer project page and install using the application manager. Once your application is installed, playing movies is simple. Many formats will play as they are, so all you need to do is copy your movie file from a PC or Mac or from an Internet download to your memory card then go into MPlayer by running the MPlayer GUI from the start menu, navigate to the location of your movie file and tap the play button.
To control the movie you can use the Hardware keys and you can also activate controls such as fast forward by tapping on the touch screen.
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You may find that you need to convert your video files into a format that is friendly with the Nokia N800. That is where Media Converter comes in handy. This GUI tool is used to convert movie files to preset formats that MPlayer is compatible with. This cross platform Java based media converter is best installed on your PC or Mac and not the Nokia N800 itself.
To convert a movie simply launch Media Converter after downloading and installing. Select "Nokia N800" from the drop down list on the top left of the GUI and proceed to adjust any other settings you may wish. On the left side, choose the file you want to convert by clicking on the "Add file(s) to Queue" button or selecting a DVD from the drive. At the bottom you may select the Directory to store the converted movie. When all settings are okay you may start the process by clicking the "Convert Videos" button. If all goes well you can copy the file to your Nokia N800 and watch it.